September 23, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.
The North Branch City parks planner and engineer, and school district administration worked to win funding from the federal transportation program that promoted kids walking to school-- by construction a connected network of trails and sidewalks.
Districts all over Minnesota applied for grants to help improve their student pedestrian corridors.
North Branch's elected officials welcomed Congressman Jim Oberstar, who attended the morning "walk to school." The congressman created the concept and congress appropriated the funding for these initiatives. Oberstar explained when announcing the program that children need safe places to walk to school, get to playgrounds and in general have an option to getting to and from school in a vehicle only. One basic approach to addressing the obesity problem developing among youngsters is to help communities develop safe routes for walking, biking, etc.